Assume that a network is spread out over a number of sites. For example, if anorganization has three campuses today it probably needs 3-bits of subnetting (2
= 8) toallow the addition of more campuses in the future. Now, within each campus, there islikely to be a secondary level of subnetting to identify each building. Finally, withineach building, a third level of subnetting might identify each of the individualworkgroups. Following this hierarchical model, the top level is determined by thenumber of campuses, the mid-level is based on the number of buildings at each site, andthe lowest level is determined by the "maximum number of subnets/maximum numberof users per subnet" in each building.The deployment of a hierarchical subnetting scheme requires careful planning. It isessential that the network designers recursively work their way down through theiraddressing plan until they get to the bottom level. At the bottom level, they must makesure that the leaf subnets are large enough to support the required number of hosts.When the addressing plan is deployed, the addresses from each site will be aggregableinto a single address block that keeps the backbone routing tables from becoming toolarge.
Requirements for the Deployment of VLSM
The successful deployment of VLSM has three prerequisites:-The routing protocols must carry extended-network-prefix information with eachroute advertisement.-All routers must implement a consistent forwarding algorithm based on the "longestmatch."-For route aggregation to occur, addresses must be assigned so that they havetopological significance.
Routing Protocols Must Carry Extended-Network-Prefix Lengths
Modern routing protocols, such as OSPF and I-IS-IS, enable the deployment of VLSMby providing the extended-network-prefix length or mask value along with each routeadvertisement. This permits each subnetwork to be advertised with its correspondingprefix length or mask. If the routing protocols did not carry prefix information, a routerwould have to either assume that the locally configured prefix length should be applied,or perform a look-up in a statically configured prefix table that contains all of therequired masking information. The first alternative cannot guarantee that the correctprefix is applied, and static tables do not scale since they are difficult to maintain andsubject to human error.The bottom line is that if you want to deploy VLSM in a complex topology, you mustselect OSPF or I-IS-IS as the Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP) rather than RIP-1! Itshould be mentioned that RIP-2, defined in RFC 1388, improves the RIP protocol byallowing it to carry extended-network-prefix information. Therefore, RIP-2 supports thedeployment of VLSM.